Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
OLYMPIC PROSPECT should enhance her status as the April 1 1000 Guineas favourite by winning today's Trial, the $1.3 million Thornbird Stakes over 1400 metres for native-bred three-year-old fillies at Caymanas Park.
Trained by Gary Subratie, who has an embarrassment of riches in the 3-y-o fillies division to the extent he saddles four of the 11 starters, OLYMPIC PROSPECT truly impressed on her third outing in the Hot Line Stakes and could be something special.
Venturing over 1200 metres in the February 16 Hot Line Stakes over 1200 metres, OLYMPIC PROSPECT showed remarkable mid-race pace to lead at the halfway stage and proceeded to win by 3 1/2 lengths from SELECTABROOK and LADY ABHIJITA, both of whom renew rivalry on identical terms.
Although facing stiffer opposition over the longer distance, OLYMPIC PROSPECT has tremendous scope, and with leading jockey Omar Walker sticking with the ride, should not only start favourite, but justify the support going into the season's first classic.
Some would say that her time of 1:15.2 for the Hot Line Stakes was on the slow side, but it should be recalled that the track was riding very slow that day and all the winners, with the exception of CLASSY PROSPECT in the opening race for open allowance horses, returned slow times.
It should also be mentioned that OLYMPIC PROSPECT defeated two horses (SELECTABOOK, LADY ABHIJITA) who had won their races over 1200 metres in 1:14.0 and fraction times.
Outside of SELECTABOOK and LADY ABHIJITA, OLYMPIC PROSPECT can look to her own stable-companions PERFECT DAY and LADY SHARVANI to offer worthwhile competition, especially PERFECT DAY, who scored very easily over 1200 metres on February 9 in a decent 1:14.3.
But she has not looked as sharp as OLYMPIC PROSPECT at exercise coming into the race, and although highly thought of by Subratie, might have to play second fiddle today.
The Peter McMaster-trained unbeaten filly ARGENTINA should have her share of supporters over this trip, having shown a grand turn of foot to score on her January 1 debut over 1100 metres, while Noel Ennevor's PRINCESS SASSY looked pretty useful when scoring easily on her debut over 1200 metres last Saturday and could be anything.
But it all comes back to OLYMPIC PROSPECT, who looked well in a recent exercise spin, easily galloping six furlongs in 1:15.4,.
Other firm fancies on the card are ROYAL LINE, to stave off old rival RUNAWAY QUEEN in the second race over 1820 metres; THE LEGACY, to repeat in the third down in class; COBRA, to stave off PRESCRIPTION in the fifth over the straight; and LIGHT BRIGADE, to romp the sixth for maiden four-year-olds and up.